University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Outdoor Soccer Rules
Outdoor Soccer games will be conducted under modified National Federation High School Soccer Rules. This document covers the major rules with some exceptions.
Table of Contents
• General Intramural Sports Policies and Procedures
• Inclement Weather
• Contest Timing
• Game Rules
General Intramural Sports Policies and Procedures
Signing-In and Rosters
1. All players must present a valid I-Card/Safer Illinois App to the Intramural Supervisor in order to sign-in and participate in an intramural contest.
2. An individual is bound to the first team they sign in for.
3. A participant can only play on 1 Co-Rec team and 1 single gender team (i.e. Men’s or Fraternity Greek Cup).
4. If a player is found participating in the contest without having signed in with the
Intramural Supervisor and doesn’t have their I-Card/Safer Illinois App present, said team will forfeit the game and all forfeit fees and consequences will apply.
Forfeits and Defaults
1. Teams that are not present at their scheduled contest by game time or are unable to produce enough eligible players to field a team, will be assessed a forfeit aside from the Grace Period Exception.
2. A team may delay its right to win by forfeit and allow the other team a grace period of 10 minutes to acquire a properly equipped team through the Grace Period Exception:
a. Once a 10 minute grace period is granted by the team who is ready, they may not rescind their decision and take a forfeit before the 10 minutes passes.
b. If 10 minutes passes after the scheduled game time, and the minimum number of eligible players required to play for the opposing team has not arrived, then that team that is ready to play must accept the forfeit.
c. If the forfeiting team is able to obtain the minimum number of properly equipped players before the 10 minute grace period expires, game starting procedures will occur.
3. The team captain of a team that has forfeited will be assessed a $5 forfeit fee. Additionally the team will be ineligible for playoffs.
2 Updated 4.18.20 4. If a team knows in advance that they will be unable to field a team on a given night; they
may avoid the forfeit fee and loss of playoff eligibility by filing a default by 2:00pm on the business day of the contest.
5. A team that has one less than the minimum number of players required to start the contest will receive a default.
1. The Intramural Activities Program expects all participants to respect and abide by all rules and policies, show respect and concern for the intramural staff, and refrain from abusive language, poor attitude, and manipulation of the rules to further their chance of winning.
2. Sportsmanship ratings are given to teams after each contests by Intramural Sports Leads, Supervisors, and game officials. These ratings reflect behavior before, during, and after a contest. For purposes of our sportsmanship ratings, we will not count administrative technical fouls and rule technicalities against a team’s overall sportsmanship. The decision will be final and ratings will exist on the following scale:
4. Team shows excellent sportsmanship and go out of their way to keep the game safe and fun. Team receives no unsportsmanlike conduct penalties. 3. Team shows good-to-average sportsmanship, or one (1) unsportsmanlike conduct penalty is assessed.
2. Team shows below-average sportsmanship and displays dissent to game officials before, during, or after contest. Two (2) unsportsmanlike conduct
penalties is assessed during the contest on either two separate participants, or on a single participant resulting in an ejection.
1. The intramural contest has been terminated due to three (3) unsportsmanlike conduct penalties being assessed on one team throughout the contest. The three penalties can all be on separate participants or on one participant receiving two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties (resulting in an ejection) and a separate participant receiving an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.
0. Team displays unacceptable conduct and sportsmanship. Game is canceled due to any of the following conduct:
• Fighting or abusive, violent behavior.
• Team repeatedly exhibits unnecessary roughness that jeopardizes the safety of other participants.
• Spectator or player clearly gestures or shouts obscenities.
• A game where more than 3 unsportsmanlike conduct penalties have been assessed to one team.
1. To advance to playoffs during a five (5) week regular season, a team must win three (3) contests out of four (4), or more.
2. To advance to playoffs during a four (4) week regular season, a team must win two (2) contests out of three (3), or more.
3. Teams must have a sportsmanship rating average of at least 2.5 to advance to playoffs.
3 Updated 4.18.20 4. Captain must have completed the online Captain’s Quiz prior to the end of regular season
to advance to playoffs.
5. Teams must have NO regular season forfeits to advance to playoffs.
6. Teams that advance will be seeded in the bracket according to winning percentage, head to head results, sportsmanship and point differential at the end of regular season.
1. A team captain may protest player eligibility and rule interpretation, but not the judgement of the officials.
2. To file a protest, notification of the protest must be made to a game official at the time of the alleged infraction prior to the next live ball.
3. A player’s eligibility must be protested prior to the end of the contest. No more than three (3) participants can have their eligibility protested during a single contest.
For more information regarding the policies and procedures of Intramural Activities please see the Intramural Activities Handbook on Active Illini and the Campus Recreation website.
1. Information regarding cancellations will be relayed to captains either in an email or phone call from the Intramural Office or the on-site Intramural Supervisor.
a. Emails from the Intramural Office may come through Active Illini.
2. Unless teams have received an explicit cancellation message in regards to their sport via email or phone, teams should assume that all intramural contests will be played as scheduled.
3. In the event that a contest must be ended early due to inclement weather as determined by the on-site supervisor:
a. A game shall be considered “official” and the result final if after the conclusion of the first half of the game, the contest is cancelled due to inclement weather. b. If the first half of the game is complete, but the contest was tied, an overtime
period will be scheduled to determine a winner provided there is time and space available in the remainder of the regular season. .
c. If the first half of the game is not completed when the contest was stopped, the contest will be rescheduled and started over from the beginning on a rescheduled date provided there is time and space available in the remainder of the regular season.
1. All players are required to bring a valid I-Card/Safer Illinois App or show their Illini ID on the Illinois App at all Intramural contests.
2. Jewelry is not allowed during any Intramural contest. Jewelry must be removed and not taped over.
4 Updated 4.18.20 a. If a participant would like to wear medical alert bracelets or religious jewelry or
headgear, they can have the pieces approved by the Assistant Director of
Competitive Sports and Community Programs. If approved, these pieces will still need to be covered during play. To learn more about this process, please reference our Intramural Activities Handbook.
3. All players must wear athletic apparel (shorts, sweat pants, t-shirts, etc.) with no exposed metal. Baseball style hats, bandannas, or any other headwear with knots or dangerous materials is not allowed.
a. Casts or splints are not permitted. Any knee brace with exposed metal or metal hinges is required to be covered.
b. Players are allowed to wear gloves if they desire. c. Sunglasses are not permitted.
d. If a player is bleeding, or if any of their clothing is stained with blood, they must be removed from the contest until an Intramural Supervisor clears them to play. 4. Participants will receive two intramural jerseys as part of the membership fee upon
registering for Intramurals.
a. Each participant will receive a navy blue and orange numbered jersey at no additional cost each semester they register for an intramural sport.
i. A team can choose to wear their own uniform jerseys with printed numbers (not taped or drawn).
b. The home team will wear orange while the away team will wear navy blue, but participants are encouraged to bring both jerseys to their scheduled games. c. Failure to abide by the jersey policy may result in a forfeit, or technical
foul/unsportsmanlike conduct penalty being assessed against your team at the beginning of the contest.
d. Intramural Staff on duty will have the final say whether a team has acceptable jerseys to begin a contest.
5. Closed-toed, athletic type shoes are required. Soccer, running, court, or turf shoes with or without molded plastic or rubber cleats are allowed.
a. All cleats must be less than ½ inch. b. Metal cleats are not permitted.
6. All equipment is subject to the approval of the intramural staff on duty.
1. Contests will start at the time they are scheduled on Active Illini. Teams should check in with the Intramural Supervisor 15 minutes prior to the scheduled game time.
2. Teams will have 50 minutes to complete their schedule Intramural Outdoor Soccer contest (or game).
3. One game (or contest) will consist of two (2), twenty (20) minute halves with a three (3) minute halftime.
a. Teams do not have any timeouts.
b. The clock will be running throughout the game. No extra time will be added at the end of the game.
5 Updated 4.18.20 c. Officials will be in charge of keeping time and may stop the clock at their
4. There are no buzzer beaters: “Ball has to completely cross line prior to time expiring to count as a goal”
5. If a team leads by seven (7) goals at any time in the second half or by five (5) goals in the last two (2) minutes of the game, then the game will end due to the mercy rule.
1. Team rosters on Active Illini are unlimited.
a. No more than two (2) members of the U of I Soccer Club Team are to be on the roster for an intramural soccer team. The list of team players is available for review at the Campus Recreation Intramural Office.
b. For more information regarding club player eligibility, please review the
Intramural Activities Handbook on Active Illini and Campus Recreation website. 2. Teams will play with eleven (11) players on the field at one time, one of which must be
the goalkeeper. A minimum of seven (7) players is needed to start or continue a match. 3. Substitutions are unlimited. Players wishing to sub must report to the cone/mid-field line
and wait to be beckoned in by the game official. An illegal substitution will result in a yellow card. A substitution may occur with the officials discretion during the following scenarios:
a. Half-time. b. After a goal. c. On a goal kick.
d. Throw-in and on a corner kick for the team in possession. e. When a player(s) has been cautioned, or if a player is injured.
i. If this type of substitution is made, the opponent shall have the opportunity to substitute freely.
f. Goalkeepers cannot be substituted for on the fly. The player must notify the game official at a time when the ball is dead. The switch may only occur when the official allows it.
i. If a penalty kick is awarded, the goalkeeper who was in the goal at the time of the infraction must remain in the goal for the penalty kick.
4. During a Co-Rec Outdoor Soccer game, a team must use a legal line up on the field at all times. A legal line up consists of using a set minimum number of players of each gender. Additionally, a legal line up must have a maximum number of six (6) players of a
specific gender. This includes the goalkeeper. A minimum of eight (8) players are required to start a game. The gender ratio cannot be larger than one (1). Legal line ups, including the goalkeeper are as follows:
a. 6 women and 5 men or 5 women and 6 men b. 5 women and 4 men or 4 women and 5 men c. 5 women and 5 men
d. 4 women and 4 men
e. Co-Rec substitutions must be made to maintain the legal line up at all times.
6 Updated 4.18.20 f. The Intramural Activities program aims to offer opportunities for all students and
Campus Recreation members. While our leagues are based on traditional gender binary of men and women, our program is eager to accommodate participants whose gender identity may not fit within this framework. Please choose the team that best suits your gender-identification. For more information or questions please contact the Assistant Director of Competitive Sports and Community Programs.
Intramural outdoor soccer games will be conducted under modified National Federation High School Soccer rules. The following contains an overview of the major rules and modifications with some exceptions.
Start of the Game
1. Prior to the start of the game, the game official will conduct a coin toss or an odd/even finger guess. The winner will select to kick-off or a goal to defend.
2. The game will begin with a kick-off.
a. During the kick off, all players must be on their own half of the field and all defenders must be at least 10 yards away from the ball.
b. The ball is in play when it is kicked and clearly moves.
c. After the ball is kicked, the kicker may not play the ball again until it is touched by another player.
3. At halftime, teams switch sides and the team that did not kick-off in the first half will kick-off to start the second half.
1. A ball must be legally propelled and completely cross over the goal line to count as a goal.
a. A goal may be scored directly from a kick-off, a direct free kick, a goal kick, a penalty kick, a corner kick, or a goalkeepers’ throw, punt, or drop kick.
b. A goal may not be scored directly from an indirect kick, a throw in, or a free kick into a team’s own goal.
2. If a team leads by seven (7) goals at any time in the second half or by five (5) goals in the last two (2) minutes of the game, then the game will end due to mercy rule.
3. In the event that the game ends in a tie, penalty kicks will occur with the following modifications and procedures:
a. Following the Tiebreak Captain’s Meeting, each team will have two (2) minutes to designate seven (7) kickers to take penalty kicks.
i. Any players who signed-in for the game are eligible to be kickers. ii. The goalkeeper in goal at the end of regulation time must remain in goal
for the entire tiebreak procedures unless they become injured.
iii. The order of kickers must remain the same throughout the duration of the penalty kicks.
7 Updated 4.18.20 b. All penalty kick rules shall be enforced including goalkeeper movement and
kicker violations. To see all penalty kick rules, please see the Penalty Kick section of the rule book.
c. The penalty kicks will progress one shot at a time with each team having a chance to take their shot.
d. If the score remains tied following the initial five (5) kickers, each team will continue through their kicking order until the tie has been broken.
i. The game will continue to progress one shot at a time with each team having a chance to take their shot until the tie has been broken (i.e. team A shoots 6th, team B shoots 6th, team A shoots 7th, team B shoots 7th…). Slide Tackles
1. Slide tackles are legal in Intramural Outdoor soccer, however contact must be kept to a minimum.
2. Legality of the slide tackle will be determined at the discretion of the game official. 3. Good sportsmanship must be exhibited.
1. A player will be deemed in the offside position at the discretion of the game officials if: a. The player is in the opponent’s half.
b. The player is closer to their opponent’s goal than the second last defender. c. The player is ahead of the ball when past the second to last defender. 2. A player will be deemed involved in play at the discretion of the game officials if:
a. The player is interfering with play by playing or touching a ball passed or touched by a teammate.
b. The player is interfering with an opponent.
c. The player is gaining an advantage by playing the ball or interfering with an opponent.
3. A player will be deemed offsides if any infraction in section (1) and section (2) above are done simultaneously.
Free Kicks (Direct and Indirect)
1. Free kicks shall be classified as direct (from which a goal may be scored directly) or indirect (from which a goal may not be scored directly unless the ball is touched by a player other than the kicker).
2. All free kicks are taken from the spot of the foul.
a. Direct free kicks awarded to the attacking team in the penalty area are penalty kicks.
3. For all free kicks, the defending team must be at least 10 yards from the ball. 4. Direct free kicks are awarded for the following offenses:
a. Kick or attempting to kick an opponent. b. Tripping or attempting to trip an opponent. c. Jumping at an opponent.
d. Charging an opponent.
8 Updated 4.18.20 i. A fair charge is one in which a player:
1. Makes non-violent, should-to-shoulder contact with an opponent. 2. Has the arms and elbows close to their own body.
3. Has at least one foot on the ground. 4. Is within playing distance of the ball. e. Striking or attempting to strike an opponent.
i. Player will also receive an automatic Red Card and an ejection. f. Pushing an opponent.
g. Tackling or challenging an opponent. h. Holding an opponent.
i. Impeding an opponent with contact. j. Biting or spitting at an opponent.
i. Player will also receive an automatic Red Card and an ejection. k. Intentionally handling, carrying, striking, or propelling the ball with a hand or
5. Indirect free kicks are awarded for the following offenses:
a. Playing the ball a second time before it has been touched by another player at the kick-off, a throw-in/kick-in, a free kick, a corner kick, or a goal kick (Double Touch)
b. Impeding the progress of an opponent without contact. c. Playing in a dangerous manner (i.e. high kick).
d. If the goalkeeper takes more than six (6) seconds while controlling the ball with their hands before releasing it into play.
e. If the goalkeeper touches the ball with their hands after is has been deliberately kicked to them by a teammate.
f. If the goalkeeper touches the ball with their hands after receiving it directly from a throw-in/kick-in taken by a teammate.
g. A player prevents the goalkeeper from releasing the ball from their hands. h. A player commits any offense for which play is stopped to caution or dismiss a
player. Advantage Clause
1. A game official may refrain from penalizing a foul if, at the game official’s discretion, they believe that by stopping the play at that moment, the effect of the foul would cause greater harm to the team that was fouled.
a. For example, if an attacking player is in the opponent’s half of the field, has possession of the ball and is fouled from behind by an opponent, and the attacking player maintains possession and has an opportunity to score a goal, the official may choose to delay the foul to see how the play develops.
2. When game official deems the advantage clause is in effect, they will signal that advantage is being called and give the verbal indication of “play on” or “advantage”.
9 Updated 4.18.20 Penalty Kicks
1. A penalty kick will occur when a foul by the defending team that results in a direct free kick, occurs within that team’s own penalty area.
a. The line of the penalty area is part of the penalty area.
2. A penalty kick is initiated with a whistle from the game official. Any attempt to play the ball prior to the whistle:
a. After the first offense, a re-kick will be awarded.
b. After the second offense, a goal-kick will be awarded to the opposing team. 3. When a penalty kick is occurring:
a. All players except the kicker shall be outside the penalty area, on the field of play, and at least 10 yards away from the ball.
b. The opposing goalkeeper must stand on the goal line between the goalposts and face the kicker until the ball is kicked.
i. Lateral movement is allowed.
ii. Coming off the line by stepping or lunging forward before the ball is in play is not permitted.
c. The kicker must move towards the ball and kick in one continuous movement. i. The kicking player is not permitted to:
1. Delay unnecessarily after being signaled by the game official to proceed.
2. Run past the ball and then back up to take the kick. 3. Excessively change in direction during the run to the ball. 4. Stop their momentum or movement.
a. Stutter stepping or a hesitation is allowed, however the player must continue momentum. These movements are not interruptions in movement.
5. Make any motion of the hand or arm which is clearly intended to misdirect the attention of the goal keeper.
4. The ball shall be kicked while it is stationary on the ground from any place on the penalty mark.
a. To be considered in play, the ball must be moved forward.
5. After the penalty kick is properly taken, the ball may be played by any player except the one who executed the penalty kick.
a. The kicker may not play the ball until it has been touched or played by another player on the field.
i. This violation will result in an indirect free kick by the opposing team. 6. The following chart contains a list of outcomes and violations that may occur during a
penalty kick and what the results of that specific scenario may be: Result of the
No Violation Violation by Attacking Team Only
Violation by Defensive Team Only
Violation by Both Teams
Enters Goal Goal Retake the
Goal Retake the
10 Updated 4.18.20 Goes Directly
Goal Kick Goal Kick Retake the Penalty Kick
Retake the Penalty Kick Rebounds into
Play Continues Indirect Free Kick
Retake the Penalty Kick
Retake the Penalty Kick Saved and Held
Play Continues Play Continues Retake the Penalty Kick
Retake the Penalty Kick Deflected Out-
of-Bounds by Goalkeeper
Corner Kick Indirect Free Kick
Retake the Penalty Kick
Retake the Penalty Kick
1. A goal kick is awarded to the defending team when the entire ball crosses the goal line outside the goal after the attacking team last played or touched the ball.
2. When a goal kick is occurring, the players opposing the kicker must remain outside the penalty area until the ball moves outside that area.
3. The ball must be kicked from the ground and within the goal area. Additionally, the goal kick must clear the penalty area and enter the field of play.
a. Failure to do so will result in a re-kick.
4. After the goal kick leaves the penalty area, any player, except the one who took the goal kick, may play the play.
a. The kicker may not play the ball until it has been touched by another player. 5. The goalkeeper shall not pick up the ball and play it, nor receive it with their hands
directly from the goal kick. Corner Kick
1. A corner kick is awarded to the attacking team when the entire ball crosses the goal line outside the goal after the defending team last played or touched the ball.
2. When a goal kick is occurring, defending players must be at least 10 yards from the ball until it has been kicked.
3. The ball must be kicked from the ground within the corner arc nearest where the ball left the field of play. The ball is put into play when it moves.
4. After the corner kick, any player may receive the ball except the one who kicked it. Throw-In
1. A throw-in is awarded to the opponents of the player who last touched the ball when the entire ball crosses the sideline, either one the ground or in the air.
2. During a throw-in, the ball can be thrown in any direction from the point where it crossed the sideline. The player must:
a. Face the field of play and have both feet on the ground outside or on the sideline. b. Use both hands to throw the ball with equal force.
c. The momentum of the ball must begin from behind then over the head in one continuous motion.
11 Updated 4.18.20 3. If the ball does not enter the field of play, or if the thrower does an illegal throw, the
opposing team shall be given a throw-in from the same spot.
4. After the throw-in is completed, the ball may be played by either team. The thrower shall not play the ball before it has been touched by another player.
5. All opponents must be at least two (2) yards from the point of the throw-in. Yellow Cards
1. A player shall be given a yellow card (also known as a caution), for the following: a. Delaying the restart of a play.
b. Entering, re-entering, or deliberately leaving the field of play without the game official’s permission.
c. Persistent infringements.
i. Committing the same type of foul three or more times. d. Failing to respect the required distance when play is restarted.
e. Changes places with the goalkeeper during play or without the game official’s permission.
f. Handles the ball or commits a foul to interfere with or stop a promising attack. g. Handles the ball in an attempt to score a goal or in an unsuccessful attempt to
prevent a goal. h. Unsporting behavior.
i. Verbal or physical dissent towards a game official or another participant. ii. Simulation, or pretending to have been fouled or injured.
iii. Commits in a reckless act with or without malicious intent. iv. Makes unauthorized marks on the field of play.
v. Plays the ball when leaving the field of play after being given permission to leave.
vi. Verbally distracts an opponent during play or at a restart.
vii. Intentional damage to Campus Recreation property or equipment. 2. A player who receives a yellow card shall be substituted for immediately and cannot
return to the game until the next legal substitution opportunity.
3. The restart of play following a yellow card will be an indirect free kick awarded to the non-offending team from the spot of the ball when the game official stopped play.
a. If the game has been stopped for another reason, that restart will occur.
4. In the event that a player receives two (2) yellow cards in the same game, the player will be ejected.
a. The team will play short a player on the field for the remainder of the game. Red Cards
1. A player shall receive a red card and ejected from the game for the following: a. Any foul with excessive contact with or without intent.
b. Handling to deny an obvious goal scoring opportunity.
c. Denying a goal or an obvious goal scoring opportunity to an opponent by an offense/foul punishable by a free kick or a penalty kick.
d. Violent conduct.
12 Updated 4.18.20 e. Using offensive, insulting, or abusive language towards opponents, teammates,
spectators, or game officials. f. Biting or spiting on/at someone.
g. Receiving a second yellow card within the same game.
2. An ejected player on the field/in the game cannot be substituted for. The team must play short for the remainder of the game.
a. An ejected bench player or spectator does not reduce the number of players on the field.
3. The restart after a red card has been issued will be a direct free kick awarded to the non- offending team from the spot of the ball when the game official stopped play.
a. If the game has been stopped for another reason prior to the issue of the card, the game will restart shall occur there.
4. Any team that receives any combination of three conduct penalties will result in forfeiture of the game by the offending team. Combinations can include:
a. Two (2) yellow cards and one (1) red card. b. Two (2) red cards
c. Three (3) yellow cards.
If you have any questions or concerns please contact the Intramural Office via email at
firstname.lastname@example.org or via phone at 217-244-1344. Our office is open Monday-Friday, 9am to 5pm.